16
Mar
11

Steroids scandal not too far from home…could have been your neighbor

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1 Response to “Steroids scandal not too far from home…could have been your neighbor”


  1. March 16, 2011 at 9:59 AM

    Great piece in the News Times in Connecticut.

    BETHEL — To his business associates and friends, Mark Mansa, of Bethel, was a first-rate guy.
    “I’ve known him for 27 years,” said Frederick Landwehr, a Brookfield accountant. “He’s like a big teddy bear.”
    Landwehr and others said they were surprised to learn Tuesday that Mansa had been arrested for his involvement in a ring that federal officials believe sold illegal steroids, including sales to high school students.
    “I was totally shocked,” said Landwehr.
    “I don’t know what to say,” said Douglas Igoe, of Bethel, who attends BNI Connecticut, the same business networking group as Mansa.
    Mansa was indicted Tuesday on federal charges in Federal District Court in Bridgeport along with three other men:
    Glenn Wagner, of Brookfield, who had a prior drug arrest in 2007; Richard Sciaccetano, who federal officials believe has ties to the Bonnano crime family in New York; and Kevic Lubic, who investigators said Tuesday is associated with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in New Rochelle, N.Y.
    They were accused of running an illegal steroids and marijuana ring in the Danbury area, with a list of clients that included high school students.
    The 46-year-old Mansa, who has also lived in Danbury and Ridgefield, was in custody before the indictment was unsealed Tuesday, police said. He is charged with conspiracy to distribute steroids.
    The allegations surrounding Mansa seem at odds with his career. For several years, he was president of Casual Living, an outdoor furniture company with a store in Ridgefield.
    That business closed about five years ago, according to the staff of Patio.com, which now runs it.

    Mansa was most recently employed by Pure Payments, a credit card payment processing company. He was also a member of BNI Connecticut, a group of business professionals who met weekly in the area.
    “He always seemed a lighthearted guy, always making fun and whatnot,” said Igoe, of Bethel, who runs the business Send-Out Cards.
    Mansa and his ex-wife, Susan, have a 14-year-old daughter and an 11-year-old son.
    The couple divorced in 2010 after 20 years of marriage, and Susan (Haas) Mansa has retained the family’s home in Bethel.
    The 3,280-square-foot colonial has four bedrooms and 2 ½ bathrooms and sits on 1.57 acres with an in-ground pool, according to property records. The couple purchased the home new in 1996.
    Mansa has been involved with local youth sports organizations, including Bethel Youth Football and the Bethel Youth Wrestling Club, with his son.
    In August 2010, Mansa was the volunteer chairman for the Bethel Youth Football fundraiser commemorating American Youth Football Day.
    “Nice,” Ken Samuelson, a former coach with Bethel Pride — the town’s youth football and cheerleading club — said sarcastically when told about Mansa’s arrest.
    He also said he heard about Mansa’s alleged involvement with the ring “weeks ago.”
    “It’s unbelievable,” said Ron Schulman of Bethel Youth Wrestling Club when he learned of Mansa’s arrest Tuesday.
    Schulman said he knew Mansa through his son’s connection to the club.
    “He’s a good kid,” Schulman said about Mansa’s son. “How stupid can a man be? If he goes to jail, it’s his son that will be hurt.”
    Schulman said he does not think there is a steroid problem in Bethel.
    “I don’t want to be naive, but we have a good community and good parents here.”
    Mansa’s arrest, he said, could be instructional if parents can use it to reinforce the danger and illegality of steroids.
    “They can tell their children that it’s not only bad for your health, it can get you arrested,” Schulman said.

    Contact Brian Koonz at bkoonz@newstimes.com or at 203-731-3411 or Robert Miller at bmiller@newstimes.com or at 203-731-3345.


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